Striborg is a one-man black metal outfit, and the alter-ego of one Sin Nanna.
Sunn O)) once
complimented Sin Nanna with a track named for him - and if you're familiar with
Sunn O)), you might consider that to be a dubious compliment.
This is two albums in one. Isles De Morts is a re-release of a piece
released in 1997 under the name Kathaaria, while The Embittered Darkness
is new - and very different.
The overwhelming sound here is a deeply distorted guitar with monstrous
reverb held way back in the mix, creating an almost ambient backing to the
vocals - which are a pure evil guttural high-pitched growl with no discernable
lyrics and sounding like something you'd expect to hear in the next Harry Potter
movie. Interestingly, there's no bass guitar - the rhythm is held by that fuzzy
thing that loosely resembles a guitar, and those insistent drums.
Besides the vocals, there's not much clarity in any of the instrumentation -
it's all drowned in fuzz and echo in a sort of drone, with industrial-sounding
drums breaking through the bottom. It makes My Dying Bride sound clean and
upbeat by comparison.
Almost all of the songs sound identical. Drop the needle in the middle of any
song and with the exceptions of "Race Of Apathy", "In The Eerie Pre-Dawn Silence
Of The Cold" and "Intro", they are all exactly the same. The song titles are
weird too. What does he mean by "Wrapped in a Cocoon out of Harm's Way" - which
is one of the two 10-minute pieces, or "Landscapes of Mist Cast Across the Steel
of Cold" or opening and closing tracks "Protagonist of Misanthropic Virtues" and
There's no technical skill here, nothing clever, progressive in any way, or
even particularly moody. A monotonous gloom replaces mood, a dissonant hissing
fuzz replaces instrumentation, and drone replaces melody.
Production? There ain't none - at least, not in the normally accepted sense.
It's clearly home-made, although the newer tracks are streets ahead of the old -
which are just awful in all respects. Sin Nanna would have done better to
release just the newer album as an EP, and left the older ones on the shelf
where they belong.
Drone rock fans may enjoy this. True black metal fans probably won't.
1. Protagonist Of Misanthropic Virtues
2. Wrapped In A Cocoon Out Of Harm's Way
3. Race Of Apathy
4. In The Eerie Pre-Dawn Silence Of The Cold
5. Embittered Darkness
6. Digging A Ditch To Die In
8. Through The Veils Of Darkness
9. Descending From The Blackened Sky
10.Holding The Throne Of Night
11.The Day For My Kingdom To Rule
12.The Cold Slumber That Awaits Me
13.Return Of The Dark Lord
14.Landscapes Of Mist Cast Across The Steel Of Cold